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Wood dust leakage brings £3,000 fine for Larner Pallets (Recycling)

  • 08 June 2012
  • By Roger Brown

Larner Pallets (Recycling) has been fined £3,000 after it allowed wood dust caused by trucks being loaded with wood chip to escape from one of its yards.

In an Environment Agency prosecution, Wellingborough Magistrates’ Court was told how businesses close to the wood recycling company’s facility on the Finedon Road Industrial Estate in the town complained that the dust was so heavy it looked like snow coming down.

Others said they could “taste” the wood in the air, it caused pain and irritation to eyes, caused sneezing and covered cars, often difficult to remove as some of it contained sticky sap.

The court heard about two neighbouring businesses who carry out specialist work on classic cars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds who were concerned about the dust.

Miriam Tordoff, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that in June 2010 the company had indicated that it would put up a building to overcome the dust problem.

However, the dust was still causing problems for neighbours more than a year later.

Planning permission for the building was only granted in March 2012 and has not yet been built.
Tordoff said that even when the company had a dust suppression system there were several occasions when work was seen to be taking place without the suppression equipment being used.

She said as recently as February an officer from the agency had witnessed dust billowing in the air as a lorry was being loaded with wood chip.

There was no evidence of dust suppression being used.

In mitigation, David McEwan on behalf of the company said they had offered their telephone number to neighbours to report dust escaping. The company has now arranged for a high netting fence to be put up.

Larner Pallets (Recycling) admitted to breaches of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 between June 2010 and September 2011.

The company was also ordered to pay £3,000 costs.


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